- Audible Audio Edition
- Listening Length: 6 hours and 27 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
- Audible.com Release Date: June 28, 2016
- Whispersync for Voice: Ready
- Language: English
- ASIN: B01D05MC3Y
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
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Up in Flames: A Rosemary Beach Novel Audiobook – Unabridged
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Ms. Glines has made no secret about how fast she can write a book. That’s great and all, truly it is, but the problem is that it shows. The lack of quality is immediately evident. There are plot holes, inconsistencies, and things left entirely unexplored like, say, the vague, poorly built world revolving around the whole crime lord plot line, that make me wish she would take the time necessary to put out a quality product.
Up in Flames doesn’t read like a standalone novel. It reads like part of the beginning is missing. A lot of the backstory relies heavily on information gleaned from other books in the series. Nan and Major already have a history, but it’s glossed over. I felt like I was playing catch-up, trying to connect the dots. It’s like when you hear a joke—it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense when you only hear the punchline.
Nan has always been a difficult character to like because of her flaws, constant judgment, and overall mean-girl attitude. I was curious to see how Ms. Glines would tackle her character. Unfortunately, much like Nan herself, there’s no depth to this book, in either characters or plot. It reads like the diary of two whiny teenagers. Show me, don’t tell me, for crying out loud.
To label this book a romance is a misuse of the word, in my opinion. Nothing about Up in Flames was romantic by any stretch of the imagination.
In a book where it’s clear, right from the start, that Major has absolutely no chance of ever ending up with Nan, he dominates the story. Up in Flames is told in alternating points of view: Nan, Major, and later on, Cope, a.k.a. Gannon. Readers are subjected to numerous chapters from Major’s point of view, where all he does is whine like a little girl and have sex with other women. I’m sorry, but in a book where he isn’t even the real “romantic lead,” why is he being given so much page time?
Major, who fancies himself a hit man—and a piss-poor one at that, is in Rosemary Beach to get close to Nan as part of his assignment. Except, instead of wooing Nan and getting her to open up so he can get the information he needs to clear her name, he puts her on the back burner, so to speak, so he can get his rocks off with other women. Ms. Glines does a poor job of trying to convince us that, despite Nan being a mark and nothing more than a hindrance to his playboy ways, Major is developing real feelings for her. There’s no romantic tension between them. One minute, he can’t stand her, throwing insults at her face, and the next, she’s making him feel too deeply—or so we're told. He's too contradictory. His actions don't match his words or his behavioral attitude toward Nan.
When Nan gets a wild hair and runs off to Vegas, after Major brushes her off one too many times, she runs into Gannon. Nan can’t help but fall in lust with him, an easy feat, considering she craves any and all attention from the male persuasion. From then on, what little plot there is revolves around Nan’s constant lust for him. When Gannon was first introduced into the story, I was excited because, well, he wasn’t Major. Okay, now we’re getting somewhere, I thought. Yeah, fail. Their entire “relationship” is purely physical. There's no chemistry, nothing to make me believe they truly care for one another. There are no meaningful conversations taking place, something that’s hard to do when the guy you’re falling for is pretending to be someone he’s not. After Nan goes back to Rosemary Beach, we’re subjected to scenes such as this:
“The slap across my face startled me and made me cry out his name at the same time. It wasn’t that it hurt, because in the moment it had been erotic. The force behind it had been enough to draw attention yet not harm.
‘Don’t move.’ He barked his order, and I nodded.
Unsure if I wanted to be slapped again or not. No one had ever slapped my face. The action almost hurt my feelings […]”
In what universe is this considered romantic? And to call it "erotic" is absurd. It’s deplorable. Nan may not have a problem with it, but I certainly do. This scene is made all the worse because, during the entirety of it, Nan thinks she’s having an elaborate dream. This man, who she’s only known for a handful of days, who’s done nothing but lie to her, who has her under surveillance and spies on her in the privacy of her own home, makes a habit of breaking into her house while she’s sound asleep and initiates sexual encounters with her in the dead of night. He even dresses her when he's done, so that when Nan wakes up in the morning, she's none the wiser. The fact that she "participated" is beside the point. Why? Because she didn't know it was actually happening, as impossible as it sounds. Having sex with someone who isn’t conscious enough to consent is rape, no ifs, ands, or buts about it. I’m disgusted and completely disappointed that an author would think this kind of behavior is okay—and worse, not see anything wrong with it. When Nan learns the truth, she just accepts it as being a grand, romantic gesture, because, you know, he just wanted her so much that he couldn’t stay away. Are you kidding me with this garbage? The sad part is, Nan is so desperate for someone to love her, that she doesn't realize she deserves better.
I never liked Nan, still not sure if I do, but even I can admit that she deserved so much better than what she got in this book. She may not be a Blaire or a Harlow, but she still deserved a good, decent man in her life.
For me, this was easily the worst book in the series, and has, in fact, left a bad taste in my mouth. It didn’t measure up to what I thought it would be. The book was rife with telling instead of showing. The characters weren't fleshed out. There was no depth, no substance, no moment where I felt like I got to know and understand the characters. The drama was over-the-top and unbelievable at every turn. Furthermore, Cope wasn't the kind of "hero" I wanted to read in a so-called romance. And trying to take Major seriously as a legitimate crime lord/hit man was laughable, considering he failed so spectacularly at even the simplest of tasks.
Let's start off with the positive... The book was well-written, Rush & Blaire were in it & it had some adorable Nate Finlay scenes. (Nan was actually a decent person when it came to Nate!)
Then there's the not-so-positive... It felt like all Nan did was whine, b**** & make excuses in this book. I'm so sick of the "Nobody loves me", the "I wanna be someone's Blaire or Harlow" & the way she described other couples' relationships as "nauseating love stories". She doesn't know s*** about what each couple went through & she's STILL all Judgey McJudgerson. You can only blame your behavior on daddy & mommy issues for so long, Nan. #OverIt
And don't get me started on how Major defended her... "Misunderstood" my a**, Major.
Oooh, one more thing... I actually kinda liked Nan's naughty side. The slaps to the butt, the inside of the thigh, the p****... they were panty-melting. The slaps to the stomach & the face though... those were a little WTF?! for me.
And how in the heck is there NO EPILOGUE?!! It's the last book is this mammoth (& mostly fabulous) series & I don't get to end with a Rush & Blaire parting shot? So. Not. Cool.
Oh, well... On to the next generation of Rosemary Beach & Sea Breeze couples. Let's see what kind of angst Nate (Rush & Blaire's son) & Bliss (Cage & Eva's daughter) have to offer us readers! :)